Thehorse.com - Full Article
By Kristen M. Janicki, MS, PAS
Jan 14, 2018
How to craft a diet for the horse with painful lesions in his stomach
Which horses would you traditionally consider “ulcer-prone”? Racehorses in training? Western pleasure horses showing competitively on the American Quarter Horse Association circuit? Pony Clubbers’ games ponies? Injured horses on stall rest? Truth is, you could be right with any one of these.
Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) can plague any age, breed, or sex, and the risk factors are many—certain types of training and exercise, nutrition, feeding practices, and stabling, to name a few. Let’s take a look at one very important aspect of preventing and managing ulcers: diet.
The Facts and Stats
The Equine Gastric Ulcer Council defines EGUS as a disease complex associated with ulceration of the esophageal, gastric, or duodenal mucosa. Clinical signs can include a reduced or poor appetite, weight loss, a dull skin and hair coat, attitude or behavior changes, impaired performance, reluctance to work, and colic. Researchers have yet to determine a very reliable detection method for ulcers via blood and fecal markers. Therefore, veterinarian-performed gastroscopy (viewing the horse’s stomach using a flexible lighted instrument passed through his nostril) is the only accurate diagnostic test.
The council estimates that 30-50% of all foals and more than 50% of symptomatic ones have ulcers, and about 90% of symptomatic mature horses (older than 2) have ulcers. In the absence of any outward signs, about half of all mature horses have ulcers...
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